Scientists in Britain have identified the oldest skeleton ever found on the American continent in a discovery that raises fresh questions about the accepted theory of how the first people arrived in the New World.
The skeleton’s perfectly preserved skull belonged to a 26-year-old woman who died during the last ice age on the edge of a giant prehistoric lake which once formed around an area now occupied by the sprawling suburbs of Mexico City.
Scientists from Liverpool’s John Moores University and Oxford’s Research Laboratory of Archaeology have dated the skull to about 13,000 years old, making it 2,000 years older than the previous record for the continent’s oldest human remains.
However, the most intriguing aspect of the skull is that it is long and narrow and typically Caucasian in appearance, like the heads of white, western Europeans today.
Typically, these situations are explained away by claiming these were “a different kind of Asian” like the Ainu of Japan, who we are told do not have the genetic markers of Caucasians.
However, those explanations have holes in them. We know Tocharians existed in China; were they also of this different kind of Asian, despite having Celtic features?
I think the fear here is that we’ll discover history is a lot older and more complicated than what we thought, shattering the easy answers that let us make a snap moral judgment and then go back to watching TV.